#6 Things Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Sajjan Jindal
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Sajjan Jindal, Chairman and Managing Director (CMD), JSW Steel is a man of few words.But when he speaks, perfect silence descends as his audience is caught listening to him in rapt attention, mostly awestruck by the sheer power of his speech and the command of his success. He has inspired generations of entrepreneurs and continues to do so.
The 58-year-old CMD is a B.E. in Mechanical Engineering from M S Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bangalore, and started his career in the late 80s, when he assisted his father OP Jindal to manage the family’s steel business in the western region.
Since then, there were numerous ups and downs but Jindal never looked back.
For Jindal, Jamshedji Tata, who without any modern equipment could find the best location in the world to set up a steel factory, is a real inspiration. Tata’s Jamshedpur plant enjoys proximity to raw materials like coking coal and iron ore.
He asserted that there may not be a better site in the world to set up a steel plant. “In the late 1800s, where people walked on foot, I often wonder how Jamshedji Tata managed to set up a steel factory at such an amazing site. And hence, he was a real hero to me,” he once said.
Start Small Dream Big
While working in his father’s steel factory near Mumbai, his dream was to set up the largest steel plant in India. At that time, Tata Steel and Steel Authority of India were among the largest steel manufactures in India.
With time and hard work, he fulfilled his dream and in 2015, JSW was announced the largest steelmaker with net sales of INR 52,971 crore. Tata Steel’s India reported net sales of INR 33,666 crore.
Today, JSW Group’s turnover is about $ 11billion. While sharing some entrepreneurial tips in the ASCENT Conclave, he suggested entrepreneurs to start small and dream big.
Observe and Learn
Unlike today, entrepreneurs during in the 1900s didn’t have access to incubation facilities or mentorship programmes. And hence, to learn the tricks of the trade, Jindal would often attend a board meeting of companies like Reliance, Tata Steel or Hindalco.
“I would sit in a corner and just observe how leaders like Dhirubhai Ambani, JRD Tata and Aditya Birla manage and interact with their stakeholders. I have learnt a lot about business from these people,” he added.
Listen to Your CFO
“Entrepreneurs are a bunch of motivated people and are all the time willing to do something or the other, which increases their exposure to risks,” he explained.
Operating in capital-intensive business, he is very open to ideas from his employees and, “it is the CFO who holds me back from getting exposed to too much risk.”
Crisis = Opportunity
Jindal and his group of companies have weathered too many storms, but he never felt stressed out in the difficult situations. For the veteran entrepreneur these crises lead to an opportunity.
“I have seen a number of crises and during such times people get demotivated and stressed out. But in our office, I always tell my employees that in a crisis there is an opportunity. So, rather than getting bogged down, they looked for an opportunity,” he shared.
However, if by chance you come across failure, the Jindal Group Chairman advised entrepreneurs to handle it with a stable mind that will them to convert the fall into success.
Keep Stress at Bay
The Jindal scion stressed that perfectionism leads to stress and hence, he advised entrepreneurs to stop being a perfectionist.
“Do what you love and love what you do,” he said, adding that entrepreneurs should be easy going and work with honesty, dedication and commitment.
Lastly, Jindal advised entrepreneurs to get their priorities right and avoiding taking work back home.